Georgia Film Tax Credit
In 2008, Georgia made a name for itself in the entertainment world by implementing one of the country’s most aggressive film tax incentive programs in the country. The economic impact brought by hundreds of feature films, TV movies and shows, commercials, and music videos filmed across the entire state totaled more than $3.1 billion in just one year, according to the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. Because of the Georgia film tax credit, the industry now provides over 25,000 jobs — 11,000 of which are full-time.
The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act grants an income tax credit of 20 percent to qualified productions which include feature films, television movies or series, commercials, music videos, interactive entertainment and animated projects. Feature films, television projects, music videos and interactive entertainment are also eligible to receive an additional 10 percent tax credit for including an embedded Georgia Entertainment Promotion Logo in the end credits of the finished product and include a link to http://www.tourgeorgiafilm.com on the landing page of their promotional website.
The basics of the Georgia film tax credit are as follows:
- 20 percent base transferable tax credit
- 10 percent Georgia Entertainment Promotion (GEP) uplift can be earned by including an embedded Georgia logo on approved projects and a link to TourGeorgiaFilm.com on the promotional website
- $500,000 minimum spend to qualify
- No limits or caps on Georgia spend, no sunset clause
- Both resident and non-resident workers’ payrolls and FICA, SUI, FUI qualify
- No salary cap on individuals paid by 1099, personal service contract or loan out. Payments made to a loan out company will require six percent Georgia income tax withheld
- Production expenditures must be made in Georgia to qualify from a Georgia vendor
- Travel and insurance qualify if purchased through a Georgia agency or company
- Original music scoring eligible for projects produced in Georgia qualify
- Post production of Georgia filmed movies and television projects qualify
- Development costs, promotion, marketing, license fees and story right fees do not qualify
Qualification & Certification
For a project to be eligible for the 20 and additional 10 percent transferable tax credit, the Georgia Department of Economic Development must certify the project. Certification for film & television projects will be through the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. Certification may be applied for within 90 days of the start of principal photography. In most instances, projects will be reviewed and certified within 72 hours, although some applications may require additional information.
A separate application must also be completed for the Georgia Entertainment Promotion (GEP) uplift, which is an additional 10 percent uplift earned for certain approved projects that include a five second long, embedded Georgia logo in the finished product and a link to http://www.tourgeorgiafilm.com on the landing page of the project’s promotional website. For features and indies, this placement is typically after contractual agreements and before the start of production crew in the scroll. Television projects placement is required in the body of the program; in the opening title sequence; as a bumper into and out of a commercial break or the end credits.